MSO6837 - Bronze Age barrow on the southeast spur of The Chains (Monument)


Small, well defined Bronze Age bowl barrow measuring 12.3 metres in diameter and 0.8 metres high with a flat topped profile and evidence of a surrounding ditch. Its top has been disturbed and has the remains of an iron feeding barrel.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 7470 4140] Tumulus (NR) [1] Exmoor No. 3, a ditched barrow 13 paces in diameter and 2.5 feet high; there is a slight hollow in the centre. Visited by Grinsell 8th Sept 1959. [2] Scheduled. [3] This is a small bowl barrow with slight traces of a ditch. See ground photographs AO/65/128/3 and 4. Published survey (1/2500) revised. [4] No change. [5] This or Exmoor 2 (MSO6836) may have been called Exaborough in the 17th Century. [6] SS 7470 4141. A well defined barrow situated in rough grassland, about 475 metres above sea level, on the centre of the southeast spur of The Chains. The site is scheduled. The barrow is visible as a flat topped, turf covered, earth and stone mound, 12.3 metres in diameter and 0.8 metres high. It has been robbed from the southeast leaving a central hollow, 3 metres east to west by 2 metres and 0.4 metres deep, now containing the remains of an iron feeding barrel. Spoil from the hollow has been dumped on either side of the access trench in two heaps in the southwest and southeast quadrants. There spoil heaps have increased the original height of the barrow by some 0.4 metres. There are the traces of an encircling ditch, about 1.5 metres wide and 0.3 metres deep, visible as a shallow, rushfilled, hollow around the base of the mound. Surveyed at 1:2500. [7] The barrow described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs. However, there is no trace of the surrounding ditch as described by authority 7. The barrow lies in a marshy area, surrounded by a large area of post medieval peat cutting and drainage, and some evidence may have been destroyed by this activity. [9] The barrow is 0.75 metres high and 15 metres in diameter. [11] The barrow shows on aerial photographs as two small mounds and a small distinct circle of lighter vegetation. [12] In private ownership. [14] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 3. [15] The site was surveyed in April 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 3. [16] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [17] The barrow is labelled "Tumulus" on the 25 inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. [18] It is also labelled on the 2022 MasterMap data. [19] The site is included in a 2023 Condition Survey [20]

Sources/Archives (20)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Article in serial: Grinsell, L.V.. 1969. Somerset Barrows. Part I: West and South. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 113. P. 16,32.
  • <3> Index: Department of the Environment (IAM). 1978. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1978. P. 117.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Mid 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 1 July 1965.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F2, 5 February 1975.
  • <6> Monograph: MacDermot, E.T.. 1911. The History of the Forest of Exmoor. Barnicott and Pearce, The Wessex Press. 402.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 3 May 1995.
  • <8> Index: English Heritage. 1987. County List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Somerset 24 County No.173.
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F64) 175-76. 27/04/1964.
  • <10> Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <11> Report: Various. Various. Field Monument Warden Report. Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission.
  • <12> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 7441.
  • <13> Aerial photograph: April 1947. LHL CPE.UK.1970. 3152.
  • <14> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records.
  • <15> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park. Exmoor National Park Authority.
  • <16> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <17> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35331, Extant 11 January 2022.
  • <18> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <19>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2022. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #40854 ]

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO94
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10893
  • Local Heritage List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW5
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35331
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): Somerset 173
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33032



Grid reference Centred SS 2747 1414 (21m by 18m) With reference to NMP data
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Feb 15 2024 2:13PM


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